An illegal drag race turned tragic Friday when a motorcycle was hit by one of three racing cars, leaving the back rider dead and another seriously injured in Angeles City.
John Hervin Casas and Fernando Paguinto were thrown off the motorcycle after being sideswiped by the Honda hatchback (plate number TJG 125) from the opposite lane.
Another car, a white Honda sedan with black hood (plate number CPS 203), ran over Paguinto who was not wearing a helmet.
Casas remains in critical condition at the Angeles University Foundation Medical Center.
Police said Paguinto was an employee of Yokohama Philippines Clark.
The other car involved in the race was black with plate number UFE. The suspects did not bother to stop and left the scene.
The accident happened around 3:50 a.m. along McArthur Highway in Barangay San Jose.
Motorist Joveen Liwanag, who was one of the first to respond, said he had to park his pick-up truck along the side of the road.
“Natakot ako para sa dalawa kong anak,” said Liwanag who was travelling with eight others for a trip to Subic.
Liwanag said he made a U-turn to help the victims, but was afraid to move them because of their condition.
“Nakakapag-salita pa ‘yung dalawa. Hindi daw sila nakainom. Galing daw sila sa work,” Liwanag said.
Liwanag said he told the victims to stay awake while waiting for help.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage caught the accident on video and went viral immediately.
Liwanag, who posted some photos on his Facebook, was contacted by by the alleged driver of the Honda sedan – Ritchmon who said he did not intend to run over the victim.
“Oo nga boss kasi tumalsik sa akin. Nagulat kami,” Ritchmon told Liwanag in messenger.
Ritchmon and one other suspect have surrendered, according to Angeles City Vice Mayor Edu Pamintuan who posted the CCTV footage in his Facebook account.
In his latest post, Pamintuan reported the surrender of the two suspects whom he did not name.
“You cannot escape the eye in the sky! You better surrender… We know all the plates. Better surrender. You are already reported to the TMG [Traffic Management Group],” he said.
Liwanag said illegal drug races are held almost weekly in Angeles, adding the cars assemble at La Pieta cemetery.
He said the races are held in the wee hours of the morning.
Chief Superintendent Roberto Fajardo, director of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), said they are willing to help the local police to investigate the matter if they would ask for assistance.
“Trabaho ng local police kasi ‘yan. Ang sa amin carnapping, highway robbery at carjacking. Sila dapat ang magka-come up with the findings kung talagang illegal drag racing nga so kami, kapag humingi sila ng tulong, ready to support kami,” Fajardo said in a phone interview. (Rey Bancod and Martin Sadongdong)